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Exercise reduces the risk of developing cancer and improves the quality of life among cancer survivors. A recent study shows that exercise reduces the harmful effects observed among men about to undergo androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men living in the United States. The first line of treatment for prostate cancer is commonly ADT, which involves the surgical or pharmaceutical suppression of serum testosterone levels. Side effects of ADT include body fat increases, muscle mass losses, and changes in cardiopulmonary and metabolic fitness.

The study involved 50 men who were about to start ADT. Half of the men engaged in supervised aerobic and resistance exercise twice a week for an hour for a three-month period, followed by three months of unsupervised exercise. The other half, which served as a control group, maintained their regular activity levels. The authors of the study assessed the men for changes in fat mass, biomarkers, cardiopulmonary fitness, energy levels, and quality of life at the three- and six-month time-points in the study.

At the three-month point, the men who had engaged in the exercise program did not see reductions in body fat, but they did demonstrate improvements in their respiratory fitness and energy levels. After the exercise program ended, the exercising men had improved quality of life and reduced markers of cardiovascular disease risk, compared to the control group. These findings suggest that low-risk interventions such as exercise can benefit men about to undergo ADT.

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